The “formation eating team” (aka the sheep) were all ready, all lined up at the gate, they had been ready at the gate for thirty minutes and it was time. The new gate funnel /anti breakout system was in place, all securely held together by bungee cords (temporary !) Ruth was ready, I was in position as back stop, Bran the border collie was beside himself with unbridled anticipation and Greg ( confident) was at the gate. It was like magic….one minute they were as one, one group of greasy dreadlocks…and then, the Soay sheep just drifted away to the south forty of the pasture. Greg opened the gate, some of our older wiser ladies headed for the food station (first come first served right ?). A bunch of lambs, seeing some mums go left and some mums go right did neither and the multi colored brat pack headed off over the hill. Bran the Border Collie exploded with excitement and bolted off after the lambs. Suffering a severe case of temporary deafness the dog completely broke up the separate groups of renegade sheep and we had sheep/lambs everywhere. The good sheep who had gone home had finished their dinner ..and everyone else’s and, seeing the inviting gate still open, left the barn and returned to the pasture to rejoin the melee. Ruth unfortunately only having two arms and two legs was unable to be in three places at once ( but made a valiant effort) and raced from gate to gate as little groups of dirty dreadlocks appeared to be drifting in the right direction. Bran the “sheep dog” (NOT) had been restrained, a dog lead had him securely tied in a square knot to a post. Greg, running up and down the hills wielding a long but not very effective stick was no longer looking confident and me……I tried to put myself where I thought (apparently wrongly) in the best place. Eventually after multiple frantic circuits of the pasture and finally (by default) united into one group, Katahdin sheep, Soay sheep and everyone’s lambs decided to take the exit route. We got to slam the gate shut as the last hairy butt bolted through and Greg said…”well, that wasn’t too bad“ REALLY ???? Thank you Ruth…it does get better !
Like to offer a big welcome to John who put on his silly wool hat and joined our WWOOFER ranks ..just for Tuesday. Thanks John, it was great to have you back on the ranch.
I’m timed out. Still snuffling and sniffing but it’s time to pack the eggs and get down to the barn. Take care, keep safe, M